Tag Archives: Aftab Siddiqui

Gillette Building Tour

Bonnington Gillette Corner Hotel 2006 unrealised proposal

When Gillette owners, Proctor and Gamble, shifted the last of the Syon Lane production line to Łodz in 2006, the 42,000 square metre site was sold to Bonnington, the Ireland based international hotel and leisure firm.  It had ambitions for an office park and a 500 bed hotel, later reduced to 300 beds then eventually none when the system of capital tanked in the late noughties and loans from the Allied Irish Bank could not be repaid.

More modern manufacturing plant used for film production

The site, is much more extensive than the three Grade II Listed elements of the Bannister Fletcher 1936 factory and office building, WFC Holden’s 1935 bank and the four separate cheeky cherubs lamp standards fronting Syon Lane.  It extends beyond Syon Lane to include the former Pernod House on its corner with Great West Road and Harlequin Avenue making up the rear where later manufacturing buildings are now used for film production.

Extensive and uninterrupted space within the Grade II listed main building

After Bonnington, the whole site was bought after 2013 by the firm involved with the former EMI plant at Hayes, the Vinyl Factory Limited.  They now say that applications to develop, extend and enhance existing film production and associated activities on the whole site are soon to be submitted to Hounslow Council, preserving the integrity of the listed elements there.

A chance discussion with Mr Matthew Rees, Hounslow Council’s Head of Planning Development, whilst visiting the former Williams Dye Works site recently, satisfied an eight year quest and yielded contact details for the Gillette Building owners.  Arrangements for a tour for Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum (IBAF) Councillors followed, made for 5 August 2022; people from Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association and Brentford Voice were invited too.

Main staircase to be restored subject to planning

The last time I went inside Gillette’s was in 1992 on a tour with my Acton College tutor group which also coincided with the planning application for building a Tesco store on the United Biscuits factory site.  The event was an opportunity to nose, more than anything else, interesting to see the unfinished en suites on the first floor facing Syon Lane.

West facing ground floor former manufacturing hall

Planning applications are awaited but the developer has agreed to run a series of pre planning exhibitions and meetings on site in the run up to formal submission, perhaps later this year.  As a member of the Hounslow Council Planning Committee, I shall be unable to make comment once proposals are lodged.

Main building, Listed south facing elevation towards th Bank

I do know, however, that my Ward colleagues Councillors Aftab Siddiqui and Unsa Chaudri are keen that any film production enhancement at Gillette opens up valuable work and training opportunities for the people of Osterley and Spring Grove as well as other parts of our borough.  The owners are now briefed on the quality, practical learning delivered at West Thames College associated with digital film making, make up, hair and construction and we have put them in touch with college Principal Tracey Aust.

West facing elevation with Gillette Tower Clock under repair

Further reports will follow as and when.  Look out for an item on the Gillette Tower clock restoration currently taking place, coming soon.

TL 18.8.2022

 

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Filed under Events, Great West Road, Neighbourhoods, Planning, Wyke Green

Short stay shoppers parking

Whilst the free 30 minutes ‘Stop and Shop’ parking (1 hour at South Street) has not been abandoned at London Road and Thornbury Road shopping parades, Hounslow Council has begun to remove the pay and display machines that dispense the paper stickers.

Parking advice change at London Road, Isleworth

Traders at Osterley Village on Thornbury Road, north of Great West Road first brought this to Osterley and Spring Grove Ward councillors’ attention when the signs began to go up late May 2022.  Residents and traders around London Road followed suit and OWGRA also received correspondence.

Shoppers are now asked to record their arrival on a previously downloaded mobile phone app, including the free parking period.  For the technology savvy, this would not be hard to do but our Ward does have a larger proportion of older residents, often carers, using their cars to reach local pharmacies, the launderette, supermarkets, Osterley Bookshop for a greeting card or stamps, the paper shop, Memories of India for a takeaway for example.

To an extent, one of our (retired) residents does agree with the new approach and wrote, “for the avoidance of doubt, I believe that the digital solution being adopted by the council makes sense for all except those who have less ability to access or use digital tech.”

Clarity on the new policy was sought from Mr Jefferson Nwokeoma, the chief officer whose department runs parking and were advised that a cashless system provides savings in machine maintenance and repair costs and secures the income received.  Conscious that, for some, the cashless system remains a challenge, councillors were advised that officers would provide information and communicate to enable residents to adapt to this change.

Osterley and Spring Grove Ward councillors are seeking an equitable solution which understands the demographic and some of the unique services available in our area.  The matter has been raised and discussed with council’s cabinet member for parking, Councillor Salman Shaheen.  He has asked officers to identify and work with one or two parades traders who would be able to provide an alternative free ticketing option and will get back to us.

TL  15.7.2022

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Filed under CPZ, Great West Road, Osterley, Parking, Spring Grove, Thornbury Road

The Red Hedge

Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri and Aftab Siddiqui

Happy to provide a local update after Thursday’s poll in Osterley and Spring Grove.  The 34% of voters who turned out, and, for the first time in successive elections, helped return three Labour Party councillors to represent the borough’s biggest and greenest Ward.

Here are the results from 5 May 2022,

Osterley and Spring Grove Ward results from 5 May 2022

Tony Louki, first elected here in 2014 and Unsa Chaudri from 2018. This week we were joined by Northumberland Estate resident Aftab Siddiqui.  An already active resident, we’ll help further develop him the Osterley and Spring Grove Ward way.

Always around, trying to represent our residents.

TL 7.5.2022

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Filed under Events, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, OSG data, Osterley, Spring Grove

Tesco Homebase Syon Lane – what’s really going on?

 

Homebase, Syon Lane from the steps at Firestone

Lately, the Conservative candidates have been giving or residents false doorstep assertions that, should they  be successful here in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward after Thursday’s council election, the Berkeley Homes Tesco Homebase proposals will be turned down.  Sadly, this would not be the case.  It’s nonsense and gives cruel, false hope.

Since May 2019, no other candidates have done more to battle the development proposals than Councillor Tony Louki, Councillor Unsa Chaudri, Aftab Siddiqui.  We have faced derision and criticism and attempts made to prevent our participation but we have persisted and pursued in a way that no other local politician (actual or wannabe) aiming to represent our Ward has..

This will never stop and, the three of us shall continue to encourage the Secretary of State do dismiss these out of place and overbearing developments.  Should he do the right thing and the developer decide to apply again, we will advocate for and pursue humane, socially viable and environmentally appropriate developments in Osterley and Spring Grove.  Not just on Syon Lane but also elsewhere in our Ward.

There will soon be a change of leadership at Hounslow Council and, by having three provenly independently minded Labour Councillors representing you, residents would be assured that our influence would be fully maintained in a most likely majority Labour Council, after Thursday.

Together, we have been behind our residents, 100%, and have played the active part that our constituents have come to expect in all Ward matters here, and not just planning.  We have shared intelligence, given advice, called public meetings, questioned the developers, challenged decision makers, sought information, spent many hours in meetings and, even during a busy election campaign, continue to participate at the Planning Inquiry.  Despite their assertions, the Conservatives have been notably absent from the nitty gritty and the fights.

In a recent campaign leaflet, the Conservative Party candidates say that they will work closely with residents to oppose the Tesco Homebase development.  There has been little sign of that close working over three years of the campaign.  Two of them have separately turned up to a couple of demonstrations against the development; one held a placard for half an hour and left, the other passed the time chit chatting, the third was nowhere to be seen.  The Labour Councillors have been a part of the campaign, attending meetings, and demonstrations, along with speaking and writing on the issue.  We also note that one of the Conservative councillors on the Planning Committee bizarrely supported the Tesco development but not the Homebase one.

The following, however, is our record.

20 November 2019 – Labour Ward Councillors appraised 100+ residents of the Berkeley/Tesco/Prudential proposals at St Francis of Assisi Church which we organised and paid for.

21 January 2021Councillor Unsa Chaudri forensically challenged council leader Curran and planning boss Matthews at formal scrutiny of a proposal to buy 164 properties off plan at the as yet unapproved Homebase scheme.

8 April 2021 – All Labour Ward Councillors, Louki, Chaudri and Eason represented their residents at the Planning Committee.

12 April 2021 – Councillors advise OWGRA to start its petition to higher level decision makers.

12 May 2021 – Councillor Tony Louki accompanies OWGRA and the 4,332 signatures petition to City Hall for presentation to the Mayor of London.

2 September 2021 – Councillors attend and lobby the London Assembly Meeting at City Hall.

28 September 2021Ward Councillors write to the Secretary of State asking for a Planning Inquiry.

13 January 2022 – Ward Councillors submit their case to the Planning Inspector.

15 March 2022 – Planning Inquiry commences and Councillors and candidates participate, present and represent.  Watch Councillor Tony Louki and watch Aftab Siddiqui.  Read Tony Louki’s script here.

At all times, these past three years of this saga, we could not be further away from being NIMBYs.  We know that the borough needs housing but it should match the housing  need (just 14% of the proposed units are three bedroomed),  be appropriate for the location and on a humane scale.  We are with our residents and remain staunch despite the efforts of others to prevent and curtail our continued proven success in representing here in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward.

Crocodile tears though, as usual from the local Conservatives.  Since former Chancellor George Osborne’s Slums of the Future planning “reforms” of July 2015, Conservative legislation has put developers into a stronger position against councils and it is increasingly difficult and costly to refuse poor applications to develop. They say nothing of that in their literature, nor of property developers’ regular and hefty contributions to Conservative Central Office; Russian oligarch proportions.

At this critical stage wherever any embedded political loyalties may be, please maintain the investment of experienced and honest voices speaking up for everyone in Osterley and Spring Grove.

Don’t encourage their nonsense.

Vote for Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri, Aftab Siddiqui

Thursday 5 May 2022 from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm

Published and promoted by Conor Hill on behalf of Labour candidates in the London Borough of Hounslow, all at 367 Chiswick High Road W4 4AG

TL  4.5.2022

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Filed under Great West Road, Housing, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Planning, RAs, Wyke Green

Application to demolish Vine Lodge refused

The planning officer managing an application submitted on 4 February 2022 (reference P/2022/0601), has just published a report explaining their reasons for refusing the scheme.

Vine Lodge from Osterley Lodge.                                   Photo courtesy D Pavett Esq

The proposal was to demolish a prime and liveable house in the Spring Grove Conservation Area, and replace it with a pair of new ones.  Parts of the original property, Vine Lodge, date from as early as 1804, probably the only surviving workers dwelling known within the former Davies Estate.

Whereas the Davies Villas (a number still survive around The Grove) were built for the rich, Vine Lodge was originally a pair of gardeners’ cottages built for those who toiled and their families.

Vine Lodge, Church Road: Refused proposal

The officer’s refusal letter clearly outlines the council’s concerns, saying that the proposal is “bulky, obtrusive and incongruous within the Spring Grove Conservation Area”.  She went on to declare that it would be, “an unneighbourly form of development which would negatively impact the enjoyment of neighbouring properties”.

Thanking the many residents who pursued and made contact with their Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors on this matter.

TL  29.3.2022

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Filed under Neighbourhoods, Planning, Spring Grove, Thornbury Road